Another 40 Days for Life campaign begins today.
I’m so thankful for this movement, which provides a concrete reminder twice each year of the pro-life cause and all the work we should each be doing for it. I admit, my general attitude towards “the evil of abortion” has always been one of sad resignation. Oh yes, I thought, that’s awful. It shouldn’t happen. Isn’t our world terrible? And on occasion I’d remember to offer my rosary for “the end to abortion,” but otherwise–aside from voting pro-life and arguing the case in occasional debates with feminists–I didn’t really do anything about it. At least not in a regular, daily way.
The first 40 Days for Life campaign I was aware of (others had happened, but I hadn’t really bothered to learn what the movement was all about. I heard “campaign,” thought “politics,” and brushed it off) was fall 2009. I carpooled to work for a few months that year with a girl who wanted to be involved, so we’d stop once a week and pray at the 16th Street clinic in D.C. I realized pretty early on in those forty days that I should be doing more. A heck of a lot more. This doesn’t mean that I jumped on the volunteer committee with the local campaign and started carrying signs, distributing flyers, etc. (Perhaps I should, but I’m not there yet.) It did mean, though, that I became more aware; that I took the issue into my daily life, my daily prayer, my daily sacrifices. And it means every time another 40 Days campaign rolls around, I try to sign up for at least an hour a week at the local clinic, and I try to remember to offer some sort of daily “fast”–coffee, chocolate, sleeping in, etc.–for the end to abortion.
Because in the end, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned these past two years with 40 Days for Life: we won’t bring about an end to abortion by treating it as a political issue. Abortion is an individual issue, and it can only be ended by changing hearts. And only God can do that…but for some reason He chooses to do it through the prayers and works of individuals. Do you think abortion a heinous evil? Do you wish to see it eradicated? Then you need to do something about it. We need to pray, pray, pray, fast, and pray some more. And if you can spare the time once during these 40 days, or once a week, or more than that, take yourself over to your local abortion clinic and pray there. Get friends to go with you.
This is a war we can’t win if we’re only half in it.